NY21 race roundup: Fundraising, challenging, and more!
If you can pull yourself away from the weathertastprophe outside, there’s a lot going on today in the 21st District Congressional race. Specifically:
Republican/Conservative hopeful Elise Stefanik has raised more than $524,000 for her campaign, according to a press release from said campaign. Stefanik, who’ll likely face perennial NY21 candidate Matt Doheny in a primary for the Republican nomination (but not for the Conservative nomination, which has already gone to Stefanik), has so far gotten donations from 831 people, including 701 donations below $250.
Democratic candidate Aaron Woolf has raised more than $205,000 (he only established his fundraising account with the Federal Elections Commission on Feb. 21 of this year); combined with a personal loan of $200,000, North Country Now reports today, he’s reporting more than $405,000 on hand for the race. According to the Albany Times-Union’s Capitol Confidential blog, Woolf’s campaign says “more than 300 citizens have given to Woolf’s campaign, with over 60 percent of the funds coming from New York State and over 60 percent of the donors to the campaign giving less than $250.”
These numbers are required from candidates each quarter (reporting to the Federal Election Commission), and were due today. No word yet from the other candidates on how much they’ve raised.
In other news, WWNY-TV reports that “a few voters” are challenging the validity of petitions from candidates Stefanik, Doheny, Democrat Stephen Burke, and Green Party member Matt Funicello. Any registered voter can challenge the validity of the petitions, which are required from anyone wanting to run for Congress. The voters now have six days to specify the problems they have with the signatures.
Tags: congress, doheny, fundraising, politics, stefanik, washington, woolf
I hope no one gets “lawyered” off the ballot as so often happens (especially to smaller party candidates). Let the people decide, all the people, not just “a few.”
Aside from reports of how much money they’ve raked in when are we going to hear about the ideas and policies they are running on? It appears they are only talking to those who have bundles of cash to offer. That pretty much tells you who they will represent if elected regardless of which party banner they ran under.
The people do decide, Brian, at least those who care to get involved do. The rest get back what they put in: nothing.
Jim, most of the candidates have been out in the district at public events. It is more difficult for the less well funded candidates to find time to get to all areas considering that our district is bigger than several states.
OL: I spent hours collecting signatures for one of the challenged candidates. I will not be happy if that choice is taken away from me (and you and everyone else) on a technicality.
Agreed, Brian. If more people did as you do we wouldn’t have to worry about technicalities.
As someone who has had a petition for local office challenged, as well as a supporter this year of fellow Green Party member Matt Funiciello, I hope the “few voters” who are challenging petitions will be identified by the media. If they can then be linked to any of the campaigns, the rest of us voters should take that info into consideration when choosing a candidate to support, work for, and/or vote for on primary day or in the general election. If the links prove to be to any of the three well-funded major-party candidates, it would suggest that those folks are not running to serve the wider public interest, but the more narrow aims of the special interests who fund the great majority of candidates nationally and who control way too much of the agenda of Congress and the rest of our government at all levels.
OL (and others): One of the difficulties with this issue is how shockingly easy it is for an ordinary, even fairly well-informed person to make a mistake on a petition.
For example, let’s say you live in Blue Mountain Lake. You work in BML. You recreate in BML. You tell people you’re from BML. You receive your mail addressed to BML by the United States Postal Service at Zip 12812. But if in signing a petition, you cite your address as BML, it will be disqualified. Because despite what the government agencies USPS or even Census Bureau may say, for the purpose of electoral law Blue Mountain Lake DOESN’T EXIST. You must say you live in the town of Indian Lake.
You sign a petition saying you’re from North Creek? Keene Valley? Bolton Landing? The city of Saratoga? All invalidated. You have to say Johnsburg, Keene, Bolton and Saratoga Springs, respectively.
I think everyone agrees that intentional fraud should be not allowed. But I think a lot of people would be surprised at how technical the technicalities can be.
“But if in signing a petition, you cite your address as BML…”
Correction: on petitions, you cite your residence.
Brian cites one of many possible “mistakes” that can invalidate a petition. I have passed nominating petitions several times and I’m not exactly clear on all the potential pitfalls. There are mistakes that can invalidate a whole page of signatures, such as the witness making a mistake in marking the count or the wrong county, but can individual signatures be strikes if they don’t mark a date? If a person uses an abbreviation or ditto marks is the signature invalidated? If a person signs petitions for two people can their signature be stricken?
Would the process of passing nominating petitions and having them certified or challenged by an interesting story for NCPR?